GUJRANWALA: Two men were injured, one of them shot in his leg, in a violent clash between two religious groups over a dispute regarding construction of a mosque in Gujranwala.
Waqas Ahmed was taken to district headquarters (DHQ) hospital where he is under treatment for his bullet wound.
Medical superintendent Captain Zafar Iqbal described his condition as ‘out of danger’. Ammar, the other person injured in teh incident, was discharged after first aid for wounds suffered in the clashes.
Muhammad Shahid, who belongs to the Ahle Hadith sect, stated in his complaint with Khialy police station that Muhammad Manzoor, a Barelvi cleric, and nine others had assaulted him and his supporters following an argument over the planned construction of a mosque in the neighbourhood.
Witnesses said the two groups exchanged fire and threw stones at each other in a battle that went on in Abu Bakr Town for over two hours.
The clash only ended after a police team arrived on the scene and took the two injured to the hospital.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Manzoor said he saw no point in construction of another mosque in the area. He said the mosque run by a Barelvi management, where he was the prayer leader, was no more than 50 feet away from the site chosen to build the new mosque. “Another mosque in the area will only create division in the community,” he said.Shahid said construction for the mosque had started with permission from the district administration.
He said he had obtained a proper no-objection certificate (NoC).
SHO Nawaz Virk said raids were underway to arrest the rioters identified by witnesses who had fled the scene following the incident. He said two policemen had been deployed at the entrance of the old mosque.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2012.